• After police rescue children, they are brought to a welfare institution to be cared for in the absence of their parents.

After police rescue children, they are brought to a welfare institution to be cared for in the absence of their parents. (Photo : China Human Rights)

Proposed revisions to the Criminal Law will most likely deter human traffickers, as they will be slapped with much tougher penalties. Legislators now have the proposed revisions of the said law.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress received the ninth draft amendment, which is now up for further deliberation at the legislature's bimonthly meeting.

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The revision to the provision aims to increase penalties to those who buy children.

The modified provision states that anyone caught in the business of buying a child would not be allowed to claim immunity from punishment, but buyers may receive a less severe punishment if there is no evidence of child abuse or if there is no attempt to block rescue efforts.

This is a huge leap from the law's current situation. At present, those who buy children are able to avoid all criminal liability.

Last year alone, the police were able to rescue 13,000 abducted children. Almost the same number of people connected to human trafficking received penalties from 2010 to last year, said the Supreme People's Court, with more than half of those caught received sentences ranging from at least five years in prison to death penalty.

Over a dozen National People's Congress deputies joined to support the proposal to increase penalties for child traffickers and to curb the demand for bought children. The item granting buyers an exemption should be removed from the Criminal Law, suggested the Ministry of Public Security.

The draft amendment details a list of activities categorized as terrorism, produced to respond to nationwide pleas to act against the problem. The draft states that groups and people who finance terrorist training programs should face more than five years in prison, on top of financial penalties and confiscation of properties.

The current law specifies that the punishments are applicable only to those funding the terrorist organizations or those who perform acts of terrorism.

People or groups who recruit and transport personnel for groups, activities and any other program related to terrorism will face more than five years in prison should the draft pass as a law.

The same punishment goes to nationals who feed information to terrorist groups, individuals or anyone involved in any act of terrorism.

The draft adds that people found guilty of driving under the influence of drugs will have their licenses revoked. This is a great improvement from the current law that states a driver is immune from criminal punishment as long as the driver does not cause an accident.

As of Dec. 3, there have already been 15,000 individuals who made 51,000 suggestions concerning the law's provisions.

The draft amendment was published in November last year.